A half-dozen 911 calls made Nov. 15 to report a shooting during a high-school football game at Pleasantville High School that injured three people, including a child who later died from his wounds, convey the terror as people ran from the packed stadium.
“Somebody got shot at the high school game,” one caller anxiously told the dispatcher. “We need help, like right now.”
The dispatcher asked the caller whether he knew the whereabouts of the assailant, but the caller said he didn’t know his location. The caller said an unidentified victim was “right here" and tried to reassure him that help was on the way.
“They’re coming now. They’re coming now, bro, relax," the caller could be heard saying.
The gunfire erupted during last Friday’s playoff game between Pleasantville and Camden High School. It halted the game in the third quarter and sent both teams and spectators scrambling. Three people were wounded — Micah Tennant, 10, who was struck in the neck and died of his injuries Wednesday; an unidentified 15-year-old boy; and Ibn Abdullah, 27, the target of the shooting, who also has been charged in the incident.
In all, six men have been charged. Authorities have said the shooting was connected to a murder in Atlantic City and had nothing to do with the schools.
Six 911 calls, obtained by the Inquirer Thursday under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, illustrate confusion and panic among callers. A seventh call was not released by Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner out of respect for Micah’s family. His mother was at the stadium when the shooting occurred.
The calls lasted a matter of seconds and were made mostly by spectators fleeing to safety. At least two were placed by people who were not there, but had been alerted to the shooting. One person identified herself as the grandmother of a Pleasantville player.
The dispatchers remained calm, fielding several frantic calls. One caller mistakenly said the shooting occurred at the nearby middle school, which is located on the same sprawling campus.
“There’s been a shooting at the PHS school,” another male caller said.
“Is anyone hurt?” the dispatcher asked.
“No, we’re running away. But please send officers,” the caller said. “Hurry up. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
After the gunfire in the bleachers, parents tried to find their children in the mayhem. Players started running off the field. People in the stands scattered, some dropped to the ground. Emergency personnel tended to the injured.
“When shots rang out I ran,” a caller told the dispatcher. “I just heard it and I ran.”
Another caller asked the dispatcher to send an ambulance. The dispatcher said one was en route. There was also at least one private ambulance at the stadium and paramedics provided treatment for Micah, who was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City and later transferred to Cooper University Hospital in Camden.
The final call was made by a woman who said her grandson was on the field for the Pleasantville Greyhounds. She was not at the game when the shooting began.
“He told me they just shot up the field,” the grandmother said.
“What’s your emergency?” the dispatcher asked.
“My grandson is in there and they’re shooting at Pleasantville High School,” she responded.
The dispatcher reassured her that police officers had arrived at the scene and were “handling the situation.”
“Lord have mercy. I hear you. Lord have mercy,” the caller said.